Some random book thoughts for August

Within hours of me posting my July book post I made my weekly trek to Barnes and Noble to check out what was new that week and to, as my wife puts it, “visit the books”. I wasn’t too shocked to see W.E.B. Griffin’s Victory and Honor was out in paperback because I’d misplaced my new release lists for anything but science fiction, but I was very surprised to see The Key to Creation (Terra Incognita: book three) by Kevin J. Anderson and Steel Hands by Jaida Jones & Danielle Bennett were out in paperback. After I read the third book by Jones & Bennett, Dragon Soul, I was pretty certain I was not going to buy the next book in their Havemercy series. But I did anyway, so into the stack of “to reads” it goes.

Because I really like Griffin’s Honor Bound series I started reading that book right away as I still hadn’t started Besieged yet, and I knew Victory and Honor would be a quick read. The problem was it is too quick because it read like half a book. Griffin has done that a lot lately in many of his series, having way too many meaningless plot tangents that go nowhere to hide what looks to be the lack of direction in the main story line. Victory and Honor jumped ahead in the World War Two timeline for no reason I can fathom, settling many plot points left open from the previous book with just a sentence or two. It almost seems like the series is now missing a whole book that should have taken place between The Honor Of Spies and Victory and Honor.

I’ve finished the first two books of Rowena Cory Daniells’ Outcast Chronicles, Besieged and Exile, and just like her King Rolen’s Kin series I’m hooked and can hardly wait for book three (entitled Sanctuary) to come out at the end of the month. Exile was a tough read in some places because Daniells is very good at connecting with readers concerning the emotions of the characters she’s writing about, and there’s a lot of sad things happening to many of the main characters at this point of the story. The Outcast Chronicles is a prequel to Daniells’ first published trilogy, The T’En, a series that is no longer in print. Word from the author is that series may be available again at some point in the future, so I’ll be watching for it.

In a “bonehead moment”, when I was at the bookstore late in July to pick up Exile I was also expecting to see The Crown of the Usurper by Gav Thorpe. But it wasn’t there. The first thing I thought was that once again Barnes and Noble wasn’t carrying another mainstream science-fiction author. It was the last Friday of the month after all, and as the book had a July release date that was the only conclusion my mind could come to. Yep, except that new books are generally released on Tuesday, and there was still one Tuesday left in July. It was there when I made my trek last Friday.

During that stop I also help a couple of teenagers who were looking for something interesting to read. They were into the “epic fantasy” stuff like the Lord of the Rings, so I pointed out some stuff that was similar, and then a few things that was outside that specific genre they might like. Their dad was standing nearby listening, and after I pointed out Monster Hunter International by Larry Correia to them they laughed at the premise and as they moved on to some of the other books I was mentioning the dad picked up a copy, read the back, and decided to buy it. Turns out he was into mysteries and didn’t really have any knowledge of my favorite genre. MHI is a good a place as any to start, I think.

I didn’t see which books the boys bought, and they had a handful, because I saw something that caused me a little confusion. I noticed James Lovegrove’s “Age of…” series had four books and not three. I was pretty certain I owned them all but after checking my reading lists I wasn’t certain I’d read them all. Even worse, I may have skipped one and read them out of order. It’s not really a huge issue as the books are only connected by theme and not storyline, but my OCD kind of forces me to try to read series in the right order. When I returned home I looked on my “to read” shelf (which is really a whole bookcase at this point) and saw The Age of Odin sitting there just waiting to be read. So that’s the book I’m on now. I’m uncertain what I’ll read after that as I wait for Sanctuary to be released.

It seems I’m no longer getting the e-mails that tell me what new paperbacks are being released in various categories, so again this month I’m “blind” except for the ones in the science fiction/fantasy genre. I think Kill Shot by Vince Flynn is supposed to be out late in August, so if that’s true I’ll be picking it up.

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